|Why a sale?
After Haringey Council, a single, impoverished council,
voluntarily, and recklessly, rushed into taking on responsibility
for trusteeship of the Palace from the London-wide GLC, in 1980,
there was a fire. Some of the interior was destroyed although all
the eastern parts were saved.
of Palace Sale Marketing Pack.
Insurance helped the Palace to be
rebuilt but those responsible allowed the finances to become completely
out of control. Eventually the Great Hall and Palm Court were rebuilt,
and a new West Hall constructed, but the project was £30m
over budget. Haringey
officers said that the charity funds must pay for this and the
Palace be privatised and sold but the Charity Commission said
overspending was completely unauthorized and the charity’s
funds could not be charged for it. In 1991 the Attorney-General
dramatically intervened on behalf of the beneficiaries of the charity
“The Council’s proposals for
the future use of Alexandra Park and Palace have been prepared
and put forward on the basis that the Charity is carrying a debt
[to Haringey Council] of some 30m ...The Attorney-General does
not believe that it is possible for the Council as Trustee to
make a proper and informed decision about the long-term future
of the Park and Palace without knowing the approximate amount
..for which the Charity is [actually] liable.”
Letter from TS on behalf
of A-G to Haringey Borough Solicitor, 4th December 1991
Haringey refused to accept this ruling (although they could not
proceed with the commercial development). As they
were themselves trustee, they simply paid themselves interest of
up to 1m a year out of the rebuilt Palace’s
funds, sending the yearly accounts into the red – and adding
this to the amount they said was owed by the Palace! And they continued
to plan for a sale of the whole Palace, hoping eventually that
everyone would forget the A-G’s
ruling, and appointing the very council middle manager, to whom
they had given the job of project-managing the sale, Keith Holder,
as General Manager! The Palace was run as inefficiently as they
dared, and the associated charities within gradually winkled out,
ready for a sale with vacant possession to a developer.
pressure, they managed to change the Acts of Parliament governing
the Palace and Park and tried to stop the Palace accounts
being independently audited. But the Minister responsible promised
that the change would not allow commercial development
of the Palace. It seems the management of the Palace and their
legal advisers always intended to break this promise, and they
Alexandra Palace Stamp World
How to flog a Palace for Peanuts
- Make sure it ends up with a single local
authority, which is also incompetent.
- Never make any meaningful investments into
- Never try to find business partners who might
make it a success
- Make sure it falls into disrepair and runs
a large deficit by employing incompetent management while paying
them extortionate wages over a long time.
- While you are at it, make sure that all the
discussions and decisions within this regard ARE SECRET, so no
one could challenge your decisions, including trustees on the
board of the charitable trust, who might have a conscience and
object to your plans.
- Run a continuous propaganda campaign telling
the public that the high council tax you are charging them, is
a result of money draining into the Palace black hole. This will
ensure the public support for your plan to flog the asset.
- Of course you should have no intention of
reducing the council tax once the deal is done, as you might need
the extra funds to pay other incompetent officers to run the next
thing you want to flog.
- When you reach a point of no return neglecting
the asset for years, try and flog it for peanuts
- If you are unsuccessful in leasing the national
heritage white Ally-Phanty for only 22 years, as you are permitted
by law: –
- Get Parliament to change the law so you could
flog it off with 125 years lease.
- Once this is done give an early warning to
your preferred bidder especially if they promise to retain your
job and excellent pay.
- Do nothing for a while, wait till your preferred
bidder is well and truly ready with their bid.
- Now the time is right to advertise your ‘flog
it plan’, so that you are seen to fulfil your legal obligation.
- Make sure no expense is spared on advertising
it. Hire a top agency to design and produce an expensive media
pack and an ‘unheard of’ advertising campaign. This
will ensure no one will ever ask you to repeat the exercise or
complain you did not make the appropriate effort in attracting
investment. You will be able to rush it through with no effective
- Make sure the time line for submitting bids
is as short as possible, so no other bidders have any realistic
chance to come up with any alternative offers of how to spend
£50 mil of their money.
- If you are unfortunate and such a bidder
suddenly materialises, choose presentation dates they can’t
make, and never change your mind about it or show any flexibility
in the matter.
- Ensuring there is only one valid bid on the
table, will allow you to defend flogging the palace for peanuts,
without any conditions to safeguard the future of any of the historic
parts of the place. (Home to the world first TV broadcast and
BBC TV studio. Also home to the finest concert Pipe Organ in Europe)
- Since the deal will have to be approved by
the Charity Commission before the contract is signed and sealed
and since the Commission will have to consult the public, make
sure the contract and its terms are a guarded secret! So no one
could ever be able to make any valid comments based on facts.
- Hold your breath and hope no-one
notices. Et voila, your Palace is Flogged